Traveling Back in Time on the Trent River

Most people visit the Trent River looking for fossils, and with good reason. The Trent River cuts deep through the marine shale of the 80 million year old Haslam Formation and the layers of sedimentary rock make for good fossil hunting. I was more interested in visiting the Trent to search for photographic opportunities created by the work of water …

Killdeer Cute!

The call of a killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) is distinctive—once you hear it you’ll never forget it. This afternoon, while walking the grounds at the old Tsolum School in Merville discussing Garry oaks with Loys Maignon of Comox Valley Nature, we both came to a stop when we heard a single bird calling from the playing fields. Even without binoculars, we …

Redhead

A great day out birding for the Comox Valley Nature spring bird count. Like Christmas Bird Counts, the spring count is an attempt to tally as many species as possible while trying to document the number of individual birds in the count area. Unlike Christmas Bird Counts, the weather is generally a little better. I spent the first hour at …

Bird on a Wire #3 – American Kestrel …. and Dinner

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been keeping an eye out for the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) that I’ve seen occasionally near an old barn just north of Courtenay, British Columbia. Yesterday afternoon it was at its usual spot on the telephone wire after being absent during several weeks of bad weather. Guess who’s coming to dinner. The American …

The Tsolum Celebrates Another Year in the Right Direction

The Tsolum River Restoration Society is celebrating a positive year of conservation and restoration work in the Tsolum River watershed, Comox Valley, British Columbia. Water quality continues to improve, our understanding fish is improving and we have  small improvements in pink and coho salmon and cutthroat trout numbers.  In addition we have been active with bank stabilization, riparian zone replanting. …

Golden!

There are several species of songbirds that are notoriously hard to photograph. Most of them are fairly small and constantly on the move. The Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa) is one of these. Often it will respond to pishing and perch for a quick look at you, before heading back into the thicket or branches where it continues about its business …

Refresh the Spirit at Tsolum Spirit Regional Park

Guest Post by Jocie Brooks This week I put on my gumboots and headed into the heart of Merville, British Columbia to explore Tsolum Spirit Regional Park. It’s a nice place to take a leisurely stroll (the trail isn’t too long, so no need to rush) and enjoy the fall colours as well as a viewpoint overlooking the river. The …

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

I’ve been able to enjoy a few lunch-time walks this week and it’s been great seeing some bird activity in the hedgerows. I’m using an older Sigma 170-500mm zoom and hand-holding it – it’s not a perfect lens by any stretch of the imagination and light conditions pretty much have to be ideal to get any kind of sharp image. …

Cascara!

Guest Post by Jocie Brooks Here on the West Coast, we tend to boast about big trees, forever going on about massive firs and cedars. Sometimes, we are so mesmerized by these giants that we fail to notice many of the small but attractive trees that are also a fine feature of our forests. Showy dogwoods, delicate Douglas-maples, and elegant …

Nymph Falls Nature Walk

This last weekend we took a family nature walk to Nymph Falls just outside of Courtenay. This park is a local destination for runners, mountain bikers and swimmers but is interesting from a botanical perspective as well. Nymph Falls, near Courtenay, British Columbia is a great destination for a family walk and some summer botanizing. We had heard that both …